From being a junior contemporary dance major at IU to helping teach dance, Morgan Johnson has learned to balance her dance life as a student.
Kristin Iovino, the owner of the new local dance school MotionArts Dance Academy, said Johnson was recommended to her as a teacher by a fellow dancer..
The first semester the school was open Johnson started teaching modern dance classes for kids and contemporary classes for teens.
Since it first opened, Johnson has added up to three classes including a jazz and hip-hop. Recently, she was the choreographer for a dance piece that was selected to perform at the 2017 Regional Alternative Dance Festival on March 12 in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Having three dancers from IU work for her dance school, Lovino said it’s a win-win for them and their student dancers. Lovino said their kids get to work with Johnson and she gets opportunities to work with other dance companies.
Johnson sat down with the Indiana Daily Student to discuss her role and what lies ahead for her career and class.
Why did you choose to be a teacher at this point of your college career?
Johnson: “I have always loved teaching. I was an assistant dance teacher for seven or eight years. I always loved interacting with kids and experiencing their craziness because they’re so just great, and I have danced forever, so it’s just a great combination of teaching what I love and kids that I love.”
Did you face any challenges while being a teacher and a student at the same time?
Johnson: “There’s been a few, you know, time conflicts, and it’s weird kind of teaching kids to be performers when right now I am a performer myself. Teaching here is actually an escape from the hectic schedule at school. I prepare my classes here for each week and it’s kind of a stress reliever actually.”
How long have you prepared for the piece for the RAD Festival?
Iovino: “We started working on it in September and joined the audition in October. Two pieces we prepared for the festival both got selected. It’s exciting for Morgan as a choreographer because this is a regional contemporary dance festival that professional dancers perform and set choreography too.”
Where do you see yourself going in the future?
Johnson: “Hopefully, while my body is able to dance professionally for a good amount of my life in some contemporary company, and after that, hopefully with all of my knowledge from my small business minor that I might own a studio myself."
CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story contained a misspelling of Kristin Iovino's last name. The IDS regrets this error.